I had watched a lecture a while ago – so long ago that I don’t remember the details – where the following ethical dilemma was posed:
Person A can take an action which would benefit many people, but in doing so, person B would be unfairly harmed. Under what circumstances would it be morally just for Person A to violate Person B’s rights in order to benefit the group?
This is a question I’ve been struggling with as far as the allocation of common resources (like tax money). Here in Greece, they are cutting back on disability allowances. With the current financial situation, it’s either that or put an even heavier burden on an already overburdened tax base – or reduce funding even further for sectors like public health and educations.
How can we weigh the needs of one against those of an other? How do we calculate the best interest of society?